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Everything about creatine: when to take it, how to do it, in what quantity and the most frequently asked questions

Although we have already spoken on several occasions about this supplement, the truth is that many of you keep asking me very often about creatine, so it’s a good time to review everything about creatine: when to take it, how to do it, in what quantity and answering the most frequent questions.

The issue of supplementation, as we all know, always generates a certain amount of debate and controversy, although on many occasions things are commented on, ignoring the real nature of this type of product, which can often be of great help when it comes to visualizing improvements physical.

Creatine: a natural part of our body

When we talk about supplementation, in general, many people associate it directly with unnatural and anti-healthy products, without stopping to think that the certain thing is that, in this same concrete case of creatine, our own body produces and generates them in a completely natural way.

Creatine is an organic acid that our liver generates from three different amino acids: methionine, arginine and glycine. This compound is transported by our bloodstream to the muscle fibers, where it is stored for later use before a physical effort that demands it. It is at that moment when the accumulated creatine in the muscle is released as energy and fuel to cope with the muscular effort.

Evidently, creatine alone does not create muscle or develop muscle mass, but it is essential in those people who perform short, high intensity anaerobic exercises, since they are the activities in greatest demand. In these cases, the amount of natural creatine synthesized by our body is not enough to cope with the effort optimally, so it is necessary to recharge the natural deposits exogenously.

What are the benefits of the optimal creatine contribution?

When in these cases the natural source of creatine is exhausted, we resort to the external supply of creatine monohydrate (MC) supplementation , the most common way to ingest it, so that a synthesis can begin at a higher volume.

This contribution of creatine will be responsible for regenerating the energy needed for the intense exercise it demands, having an impact on the increase in strength and strength gain , demonstrating that this allows achieving greater power, intensity, an improvement of performance and greater muscle gain.

Even if we go beyond the physical benefits of taking creatine, recent research has concluded that its intake could be related to an improvement in mental activity, being a perfect ally to strengthen the brain.

Recommended standard quantity and individualized quantity

When a single daily intake of creatine is carried out, without carrying out a loading and maintenance phase, the recommended amount of standard creatine per day is usually around 5g . If we want to individualize the recommended amount based on our personal needs, the recommended amount of creatine will be 0.1g / kg of body weight.

The choice to do a loading phase, which would cover about 5-7 days with a higher dose of creatine, is totally optional and would simply help us to generate a faster accumulation in the muscle deposit and a consequent more immediate effectiveness. The studies show that an uncharged takes the benefits appear around 3-5 days later.

When and how should I take it?

As for how to take it, creatine can be taken at any time of the day, although it is recommended to take it before or after training. But when is it better?

If we look at some studies, the consumption of creatine immediately after training is superior in terms of benefits of muscle gain than taking pre-workout creatine, although personally the ideal is that each observe their own results.

The intake of creatine can be accompanied by any protein or carbohydrate shake, although due to its absorption in water it is not necessary to ingest it accompanied by foods that trigger insulin.

Frequently asked questions and questions about creatine

  • Should the rest days be taken?: the advisable thing is that it is taken every day including those of rest in which it is not trained. For these days, the standard recommendation may be somewhat lower than the training days, around 2-5g per day.
  • Does the creatine damage the kidney?: Studies (I) (II) have shown that taking creatine does not cause renal dysfunction in healthy men who undergo training and even conclude that it may be beneficial.
  • Is it true that it retains water? In fact, the intake of creatine retains part of water but intracellularly, hydrating the muscle cell, not extracellularly as it is sometimes said.
  • Can taking creatine cause cramping?: a creatine supplementation along with adequate hydration will not have risks of muscle cramps.

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